Extended Project Qualification
Studying for an Extended Project Qualification at Winterbourne Academy
What is the EPQ?
The Extended-Project Qualification is a stand-alone qualification that offers students the opportunity to embark on a largely independent research project of their choice.
The EPQ offers student the opportunity to:
- develop and improve their own learning and performance as critical, reflective and independent students
- develop and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills
- extend their planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills
- develop and apply skills creatively, demonstrating initiative and enterprise
How is the EPQ taught and assessed?
Students will be allocated two hours per fortnight on their timetable for their EPQ during both Year 12 and Year 13. During this time they will be taught key skills for each stage of the project, and meet with their allocated EPQ Supervisor to discuss the progress of their project.
Students are required to either write a 5000 word essay or complete a ‘practical’ project, otherwise known as an artefact, such as creating a piece of art or choreographing a dance routine. An artefact should have an accompanying 1000 word commentary.
Students will complete a Log Book throughout the duration of their EPQ where they record and evaluate their decision making, along with support given by their supervisor.
All students will also be required to deliver a presentation to their peers about the project and their ‘learning journey’ at the end of the two years.
Examples of Extended-Projects
Is poker a sport?
Is it ethical to cull badgers to prevent Tuberculosis?
Why are people scared of death?
Investigate the benefits of singing on mental health by running a community choir.
What are the top twenty historical finds of the twentieth century?
Is it possible to create the ultimate super soldier?
An investigation into the benefits of goal-line technology in football.
The possibilities are endless!
Why do an EPQ?
The EPQ is a useful bridge between study at school and study in further education. The EPQ helps you to develop a range of useful study skills including critical, reflective, problem-solving and independent learning skills, through the planning, research and evaluation of a self-selected project.
The EPQ is a qualification in its own right and can obtain UCAS points. This might contribute towards the entry requirements at some universities.
Even where universities don’t include the EPQ in their offers, they will recognise the importance of independent learning and the value of this qualification as preparation for higher education. You can be strategic in your choice of EPQ topic. For example, those applying for medicine could choose a topic linked to medical research or those applying for an apprenticeship in a technology company could do a project on the future of nano-technologies.
The EPQ is a valuable addition to your personal statement, as you can demonstrate your enthusiasm for a particular topic linked to your desired area of study. An EPQ can also be useful to discuss at interview for apprenticeships and employment as it demonstrates your ability to undertake a piece of independent research and all the skills that come along with that.
How can an EPQ benefit a UCAS application?
The EPQ is worth a maximum of 70 UCAS points, slightly more than an AS Level (60 points) as the A* grade is available for the EPQ. It is also a crucial element of any personal statement.
Your EPQ Team at Winterbourne Academy
EPQ Subject Lead: Mrs Deborah McClean
The AQA Specification for the EPQ: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/projects/project-qualifications/EPQ-7993.